Former dispensary operator gets 6-year prison term in pot case

Published: Saturday, May. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 10:20 am

A former Sacramento dispensary operator, who courted the high life as a marijuana entrepreneur with an MTV audition tape and closet full of cash, was sentenced Friday to spend six years in federal prison.

Bryan Smith, 28, was the last of six defendants to be sentenced in a case involving a south Sacramento dispensary, the R&R Wellness Collective, multiple growing houses, stolen electricity and pot distribution to Southern California.

In Sacramento, the city-registered dispensary was operating as a purportedly nonprofit business providing medical marijuana to people with doctors' recommendations for medical use.

But in a raid on Smith's Elk Grove home, authorities found what they described as an apparent audition tape for an MTV program – "True Life" – that featured a pot-themed segment called, "I'm in the marijuana business," and portrayed lavish rewards.

On the tape, the young dispensary operator bragged of taking in $100,000 every 40 to 60 days from marijuana.

In a closet in his master bedroom, authorities said they found $256,476 in cash. They also discovered $16,733 in a backpack found in his truck.

"Every day, I'm in fear of being raided by the feds," Smith, who later pleaded guilty to federal drug charges, said on the video.

Authorities, including Elk Grove police and a Sacramento drug task force, found 139 pounds of marijuana at the dispensary and hundreds of pot plants at other locations. Authorities said growing rooms were rigged to steal electricity and some of the marijuana was sold far from the dispensary in San Diego.

Smith's father, Kelly Smith, 55, was earlier sentenced to 18 months in federal prison in the case.

Co-defendants Daniel Goldsmith, 27, of Galt, Ryder Phillips, 27, of Galt and Robert Klaus, 36, of San Diego were each sentenced to two years. Another defendant, Bruce Goldsmith, 61, of Galt was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

Call The Bee's Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.

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